Bear eats grass next to Highway 3 in Manning Park

‘Bear jams’ on B.C. highways bad for people, animals [with video]

Conservation officers have 300 bear conflict calls so far this month, with roadside bear viewing, feeding among problems

Bears are emerging from hibernation around B.C. as another strong tourist season begins, causing collections of often unwary onlookers and creating danger.

Hungry black bears come to roadsides in early spring to eat new grass, and can quickly attract a crowd.

“They cause what’s known as bear jams, where people stop to photograph the bears, look at the bears or feed the bears,” said Chris Doyle, deputy chief of provincial operations for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

“The problem with that is that it causes the bears to be habituated to people. It also does cause bears to get hit by vehicles on the highways, because if they are getting fed, they’re going to be attracted to those cars and they may dart out onto the highway quickly.”

Conservation Officers have fielded 300 calls about bear conflicts since April 1. Doyle said the problem is mainly in southwestern B.C. now and will pick up farther north in coming weeks.

A perennial hotspot for bear conflicts is along the North Shore and up the lower Fraser River, extending from North Vancouver to Maple Ridge where housing development abuts with mountain terrain.

Doyle said proper garbage management and use of bear-proof containers will help minimize contact.

With camping season starting, Doyle stressed the need to keep garbage secure.

“Those can be dangerous situations when you have a bear wandering around a campground.”

Here’s a typical tourist video, from someone police hope is parked in a safe spot:

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan rinks have mixed results as BC Seniors Curling finals begin

A total of 15 rinks are competing in Vernon for right to go to nationals in Manitoba

Vernon Chamber says 2020 budget lacklustre for small buisnesses

‘There was absolutely nothing meaningful in the budget for entrepreneurs,’ Chamber GM

Vernon paying more at pumps than Central Okanagan

Central Okanagan pump prices fall, North Okanagan lags behind

Dust advisory in effect for Vernon

Keep strenuous exercise away from busy streets, intersections

Vernon reporter’s roots linked to Montreal school fire that killed 17

Vernon and District Family History Society runs open house during Heritage Week

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Most Read